I’m a terrible roller skater. Maybe it’s my knock-kneed chicken legs. I just was not blessed with good balance. I’m one of those guys that hugs the wall all the way around and gets lapped repeatedly by 7 year old girls. So my “strategy” is to wait it out and save my energy for the chicken dance. That’s my jam.
I think life is kinda like a skating rink. At times we feel like we’re just skating around in circles. We go around and around and around and around. We get up and get dressed and brush our teeth and eat breakfast and go to work. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
If you’re like me, you’ve asked, “Is this it? Does life have a purpose?”
King Solomon says, “The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:5-6).
Even one of the richest men in the history of the world was tired of the skating rink. He goes on to say, “I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me…So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4,9).
And then Solomon throws down the gauntlet, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecc. 2:11).
Have you ever tried to actually chase the wind? It would be a silly sight. I mean, who can actually catch the wind? Yet, we attempt to do it every day. We chase after meaning and purpose and identity and significance and satisfaction in the things “under the sun.” And we are left empty and longing for more.
C.S. Lewis says, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
We weren’t made for Earth, we were made for Heaven! So maybe the better question is, “What is God’s purpose for the life He’s given me?”
You see, finding our purpose is all about finding the God who made us on purpose for a purpose. When we realize life is not about us, we start living the life God intended.
So what is God’s purpose for our lives? Let’s shorten that question a bit. What is God’s purpose? In John 12:27, Jesus says, “For this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
There you have it. The reason Jesus came was to glorify His Father! It wasn’t even about Him! If anyone could have made life about himself it was Jesus. But His sole purpose was to bestow honor and praise and admiration upon His Father. Did He come to love and heal and forgive and comfort us? Yes, but God is for God before He’s about us.
From Genesis to Revelation we see a God who is first and foremost all about His glory and His name. Yes, the Shepherd “makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters and leads me in paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:2,3). But His motivation behind all of that is four words:
“for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
Do we live for His name or for our fame? Is our story all about His glory?
The Apostle Paul says it well, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Every moment of everyday is an opportunity to give glory to God. Even the mundane can have meaning when we do it “for His name’s sake.”
Washing the dishes. Driving to work. Studying for an exam. Listening to a friend. Paying the bills. Parenting children. Playing sports. Leading a meeting.
When we shift from an “it’s about me” mentality to an “it’s all about God” mentality, everything changes. We are more patient and forgiving and compassionate and self-controlled. We listen without judgment. We serve without an agenda. We go the extra mile with joy. We give generously even when it’s uncomfortable.
So when it feels like you’re just skating around and around and around. Stop and remember it’s not about you. It’s…
For. His. Name’s. Sake.